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housing

KUOW Photo/Matthew Streib

Marcie Sillman talks with Roxanne Fonder Reeve, who, along with a slew of volunteers, is building a trash studio in her Columbia City driveway to teach people how they can build environmentally sustainable housing out of found materials.

The Eastside Dabbles With Affordable Housing

Nov 24, 2014
Redmond barber Young Choi discusses the changing face of Redmond with client Kurt Link.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle has struggled to provide affordable housing, and now suburbs are grappling with the same problem. Cities on the Eastside have been updating zoning laws to encourage more affordable housing. But critics say those cities should press developers for more.

Hill’s Barber Shop has been serving people in Redmond for more than 40 years. Last year, Young Choi, an immigrant from South Korea, bought the business.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Rents are rising sharply in Seattle, and the city has launched another effort to tackle the shortage of affordable housing.

At an Ethiopian community center in the Rainier Valley, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's new affordable housing committee tried Wednesday night to take the pulse of a community hit hard by housing costs.

The 28-member committee's first open house began slowly as a consultant showed the multicultural audience how to use handheld electronic clickers to take part in an instant survey.

Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with real estate appraiser Richard Hagar about a Seattle City Council proposal to charge developers of new residential and commercial buildings a linkage fee to fund affordable housing.

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

In 2005, housing advocates in King County announced a plan to end homelessness within a decade.

Since then, the community has produced 5,600 units of permanent housing for the homeless, more than anywhere in the U.S. except New York and Los Angeles. This year alone, more than 2,000 formerly homeless people have moved into permanent housing.

Joshua McNichols / KUOW

Sharon Lee of the Low Income Housing Institute stands on the back deck of the Denny Park Apartments in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

She counts cranes: "One, two, three, four, five, six." And that's just on this side of the building.

Amy Radil

The Seattle City Council is poised to approve new regulations governing microhousing. The bill would set new minimum requirements for tiny apartments and dorm-style projects. Developers say the regulations would kill off these projects entirely.

Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Alan Durning, executive director of the Sightline Institute, about how zoning policies affect affordable housing in Seattle.

Marcie Sillman talks with Q13 Fox political analyst C.R. Douglas about Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's newest commission on affordable housing. 

KUOW/John Ryan photo

A homeless camp has popped up on a busy sidewalk in Seattle’s University District. Members of the small tent community say 20 people live here.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Just off Aurora Avenue in North Seattle is a rather gray looking apartment building owned by Seattle Housing Authority.

Single mother Rebecca Snow Landa lives there with her two kids. She shows me around. "So this is our piano that we’re very proud of, and I’m teaching my kids to play."

Flickr Photo/Deborah Austin (CC-BY-ND-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with director of Bellevue's planning and community development department, Chris Salamone, about rising rents in Bellevue and the future of housing on the Eastside.

Flickr Photo/jseattle

Developers who build tiny apartments in Seattle may soon be working under a new set of city rules.

The Seattle City Council gave initial approval Tuesday to a host of new regulations that would govern everything from the minimum size of units to bicycle and car parking requirements.

The Chinese real estate developer Landsea plans to invest $1 billion in the U.S. housing market, according to the company. “The Chinese housing market is slowing down. In the U.S., it’s coming up,” said John Ho, managing director of Landsea’s U.S. subsidiary, yesterday.

Michael Regan of Bloomberg News spoke to Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about how the developer will start with three projects — one in California’s Simi Valley, another near San Francisco and a third outside of Manhattan.

Bank Of America's Penalty: As Big As It Seems?

Aug 22, 2014

Ross Reynolds talks with Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, about the almost $17 billion settlement against Bank of America and why it's not as big as it seems.

Buffalo Abandoned Homes Selling For $1

Aug 19, 2014

Like many cities, Buffalo, New York, is facing a glut of abandoned homes and lots. There are roughly 16,000 vacant lots and 4,500 vacant homes throughout the city.

Instead of tearing the homes down, city officials are selling them for $1. They’re calling it the Urban Homestead Program. The program requires that residents have the ability to make necessary repairs, and commit to living in the home for at least three years.

Ross Reynolds talks with Andrew Lofton, Seattle Housing Authority executive director, about a new proposal that would change how tenants are charged for rent. Also, Marcie Sillman gets reaction to the proposal from Jonathan Grant, executive director of the Tenants Union of Washington State.

Online rental brokers like Airbnb, VRBO and Flipkey in San Francisco may be finding some success renting to visitors on a nightly basis, but people concerned about a shrinking rental market have turned to legal action and protests.

In the city's North Beach neighborhood, for example, protesters recently gathered around a three-unit apartment with flats an online broker rents to vacationers. This used to be the rent-controlled home of elderly tenants until out-of-town investors bought the building and evicted the residents.

Flickr Photo/Seattle Munincipal Archives (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with James Gregory, director of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project at the University of Washington, about the history of racial exclusion in early 20th century housing covenants.

This segment originally aired May 21, 2014.

housing apartment
Flickr Photo/Andrew Smith (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien is looking for affordable housing solutions – for a population that may be overlooked.

Speaking with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds, O’Brien said that systems are in place for those making around 30 percent of the area median wage, but not for those between 60 to 100 percent of the median (for a single person that’s between $37,000 and $50,000 a year).

A new report shows rents are up in cities and metro areas across the country, as demand for apartments continue to exceed supply.

The average monthly apartment rent for the year’s second quarter was $1,099, up from $1,064 at the same time last year. The quarterly report from Reis, the real estate research firm, revealed that this was the 18th consecutive quarter of rent increases.

Tenants: Know Your Legal Rights

Jun 30, 2014
Flickr Photo/Will Merydith (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with attorney Evan Loeffler, who specializes in landlord-tenant relations and real estate litigation, about what tenants can do to protect their financial interests.

Marcie Sillman talks with real estate appraiser Richard Hagar about what's driving the increase in Seattle area rental prices.

KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Four people live in a cozy home on Capitol Hill, which they call WOW, for Wild Old Women.

Or that’s what they used to call it; now they call it Wild Old Women And One Young Man, since a godson of one member joined a year ago.

The mortgage crisis that devastated the economy has received endless attention, but it's not just homeowners who have suffered badly in this economy.

As of 2012, renters made up 35 percent of American households. Their numbers are growing, reversing a decades-long uptick in homeownership.

And in the past 50 years, the percentage of income they're spending on the rent has increased dramatically. A quarter of renters are spending more than half their income on rent.

Game Of Homes: Leaving Seattle For The Cheaper Suburbs

May 30, 2014
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

This week, we have been airing Game of Homes, a series about finding affordable housing in Seattle. For one family, finding a place to live within their means meant leaving the city altogether.

Andrea VanHorn and her fiancé fled to North Bend, a small town 35 miles east of Seattle. “Wow, there’s a lot of pine trees out here,” VanHorn said when the idea was first suggested.

Game Of Homes: 11 People, Two Tiny Apartments

May 29, 2014
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

This week, we have been airing Game of Homes, a series about finding affordable housing in Seattle. For some, like the Pokhrel family, it’s about bunking together. Eleven family members share two apartments on Rainier Avenue in South Seattle.

KUOW/Kara McDermott

Affordable housing means spending 30 percent or less of household income on housing, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Game Of Homes: To Afford Seattle, Shrink Your Life

May 28, 2014
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

As Seattle grows – it’s the fastest growing big city – more people will be looking for affordable housing within the city limits. We here at The Record have been documenting how people are figuring out affordable housing in our series, "Game of Homes."

'To Have A Place Where I Can Have Food'

May 27, 2014
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

The Census Bureau estimates Seattle grew faster than any other major American city last year. As more people move here, the pressure is on to find an affordable home.

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